Here’s a free tip: if you want to experience the best an airline has to offer, give them a whirl from their hometown. Everyone aims to build a home they are proud of and airlines are no exception. At an airline’s hub you can expect to experience their “flagship” offerings, providing you the absolute greatest experiences possible. It goes without saying that the best lounges in Asia are predominantly from Asian carriers, and my goodness they are stunning.
Cathay Pacific “The Pier” Hong Kong
For Cathay Pacific’s hometown glory in Hong Kong they’ve created lounges that rival the best hotels. Private relaxation suites? Of course! The Pier, Cathay’s brand new state of the art offering includes every top shelf lounge amenity every imagined from a fine dining bistro, a golden age bespoke bar, private seating areas and most importantly for me, views of the tarmac and runway. A lounge is a welcome departure from the crowded terminal but there is nothing better than a private relaxation suite. It’s a space so peaceful and relaxing that there’s even a guide to etiquette…
Getting In: The Pier has both a first and business section, to enter the secluded area mentioned above you’ll need to be a departing Cathay Pacific First Class passenger or a OneWorld Emerald attained from statuses such as British Airways Gold or American Airlines Executive Platinum.
Singapore Airlines Private Room Singapore
Lounges within lounges. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s something awesome about walking through a door marked private, especially when holding a golden ticket which grants you access. To enter this lounge you’ll need to enter the SilverKris lounge, proceed through the First Class lounge and into this eccentric millionaires living room otherwise known as the private room. As you’ve come to expect, there are private suites for relaxation, a la carte food menus with waiter service where you wish to sit, offering the best regional and international cuisine and naturally, an endless supply of champagne.
Getting In: They don’t just hand out Golden tickets to everyone do they? Much like Willy Wonka, you’ll need a rare first class ticket departing Singapore to access the private room. Other sections, including the First Class lounge are available to Star Alliance Gold members and those flying on other airlines First Class.
JaL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda
If you love sushi, Laurent Perrier champagne, inspired traditional Japanese design and game rooms you’ve just found Japanese heaven. Occasionally after looking at pictures such as those found above, I find myself re reading the title to ensure that we’re talking airport lounges and not award winning luxury homes. In traditional Japanese fashion, you can treat yourself to an award winning hour long massage, some chess, or just a bevy of regional dishes, sake and champagne. I’m not much for massages. For all you aviation geeks, be sure not to miss the memorabilia gallery which features vintage photos, luggage, plane parts and more. After a few glasses it will all look very interesting.
Getting In: Ah yes, there is indeed a trend here young Jedi, you’ll need either a First Class boarding pass or a OneWorld Emerald card from British Airways, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, Qantas, etc to get in here. It’s worth the trip though…
Thai Royal First Lounge Bangkok
When I think of Thailand I think of the friendly people, tranquil beaches and of course, the rickshaws that dominate the countries urban centers. To start your experience off in true thai fashion, you’ll likely ride to the lounge in a golf cart which looks more like a rickshaw. You’ll feel right at home. Once inside however, you will be shown to a place which quite possible is far greater than home. First Class passengers are given their own living room with updated amenities, large television, couches and of course waiter service. Sure you could mosey up to the buffet, but why would you when some of the world’s best curries and thai selections can be delivered to your private room with a smile?! Oh the spa, right. Thai Royal First passengers have access to a full fledged spa inside the terminal complete with all the wood accents, oils and orchids to make you fall asleep and miss your flight but feel great while doing it! From the privacy, food and beverage and of course the massages, this one is very very tough to beat.
Getting In: Butlers, cabanas, massages, you’ll need a first class ticket to get in here. Fortunately flights as short as Bangkok to Hong Kong count and can be had for a very meager sum of miles. Short of that you’ll have to be Star Alliance Gold traveling First on another airline. Spring rolls….
If there’s one thing I can’t do without when I travel it’s lounges. Good, bad or glorious as these featured above are, they are a welcome distraction to the airport experience and often feature many of my favorite liquid items. Put it on my tab! The best part of all these lounges? They can be accessed with a little hard work and research in using your miles. $400 scotch and $300 champagne tastes even better when it’s purchased using miles. It’s a known fact. Any lounges to add?!
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